Today's New York TImes carries a story about an important aspect of the American Civil Rights movement in the South -- and the fleet of buses that helped make it possible.
No one talks much about Worcy Crawford, who died in July at age 90, leaving a graveyard of decaying buses behind his house on the outskirts of Birmingham.
His private coaches, all of them tended by Mr. Crawford almost until the day he died, do not have the panache of the city buses that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.refused to ride. But they have significance nonetheless.
With their cracked windows and rusting engines thick with brambles, they are remnants of something that was quite rare in the South: a bus company owned by an African-American.
Mr. Crawford’s work was simple. He kept a segregated population moving. Any Birmingham child who needed a ride to school, a football game or a Girl Scout outing during the Jim Crow era and beyond most likely rode one.
So did people heading to dozens of civil rights rallies — including the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
And where is that fleet of buses now?
Today, 18 of Mr. Crawford’s buses sit in various states of repair on a grassy lot behind his house. Family members still charter two newer coaches, keeping his legacy alive. The others are being sold for parts or kept for reasons of nostalgia.
One of them, a tan GMC bus built in 1958, is nicknamed the Rosa Parks.
PHOTOS: Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times